American Presidents

What I Learned About Franklin Pierce

These classroom projects are produced by Mrs. Annis' and Mr. Sullivan's fourth grade students at Kimball School in Concord, NH. Mr. Sullivan's students viewed C-SPAN's program featuring Franklin Pierce as a part of their research.

Tim Sullivan of Kimball Elementary School in Concord, New Hampshire.

"In order for a student to graduate from fourth grade, they must complete a New Hampshire History Unit. Not only must they show a working knowledge of state government and history, how a bill is made into a law, etc, all students must write research papers on one famous New Hampshire person and a New Hampshire famous place.

A four-page book report, (complete with abstract) about New Hampshire history or written by a New Hampshire author is also required."

Kimball Elementary School student Shaine Halfpenny

On The President's Youth
"Franklin Pierce was born in Hillsborough, New Hampshire on November 23, 1804. Young Franklin liked to listen to his father because he wanted to be a soldier.

His first school was Hillsbourough Center. Then he went to Hancock Academy. He did not like this school and he ran home. His father took him halfway back to school in a carriage and then made him walk the rest of the way back to school. Franklin said that was a good lesson.

Franklin graduated from Bodwoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1824."

Kimball Elementary School student Daithi Martin

On Franklin Pierce's Professional Life
"In 1827, Franklin passed the bar. Franklin practiced in his native town of Hillsborough. He became a public official and was Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1833. Franklin was in the House for four years. He was elected to the Senate in 1827. In 1842, he resigned from the Senate.

As a private citizen living in Concord. He volunteered to fight in the Mexican War. He became a brigadier-General and was hurt when his horse fell on him. He came home after the war and was a lawyer in Concord. He became the leading democrat in his party."

Kimball Elementary School student Ashley Crutchfield

On How Franklin Pierce became President
"In 1852 Franklin pierce was called again to serve his country. During a deadlock on the floor of the Democratic Convention, one of the four candidates: James Buchanan, Stephen A. Douglas, Lewis Cass, or William Marcey were able to win enough votes to break the deadlock, and gain the Presidential Nomination. After 34 ballots, delegates from Virginia put out Franklin Pierce's name in hopes of breaking the deadlock. The Convention quickly accepted Pierce's nomination, followed by his own acceptance.

The 1852 election focused on few issues. Pierce favored the compromise of 1850 with the question of slavery but it was the Fugitive Slave Law that won him the South's votes, and the victory in the election as the President of the United States. Elected as the 14th President at age 48, he was the youngest man up to his time to be elected."

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